Los Angeles Clippers vs. Los Angeles Lakers Betting Predictions

Lakers vs Clippers NBA
Lakers vs. Clippers, NBA Betting Predictions, December 22

The Los Angeles rivalry deservingly is the first game for both the Lakers and Clippers in the 2020-21 season. The Clippers ended the season with a disappointing loss in the second round of the playoffs and now have to face the defending champions to open the season. This game is a toss-up, especially with the lack of rest between the end of the playoffs and start of this season.

Lakers vs Clippers Betting Odds

These two teams have very different feelings entering the 2020-21 season after the way their seasons ended. The Los Angeles Lakers led by LeBron James and Anthony Davis lived up to the hype and came back with another championship in a dominant postseason effort. The Los Angeles Clippers were supposed to challenge the Lakers for the throne but instead couldn’t hold onto a 3-1 series lead in the second round of the playoffs.

The failures of last season will certainly be on the Clippers’ minds Tuesday night in the debut of new coach Tyronn Lue. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George can feel the disappointment of last season and now the pressure is on them to match the success of the team with which they share the Staples Center. The Clippers are a slightly different team with Serge Ibaka replacing Montrezl Harrell, who signed with the Lakers in the offseason. Otherwise, the Clippers return their other four players who averaged in double figures last season as well as key role players Patrick Beverley and Ivica Zubac.

That makes it easier to make these early-season NBA betting predictions. When it comes to the Lakers vs. Clippers betting predictions, I’ll start on the individual level. FanDuel is offering odds on who will be the leading scorer in this game, and my money is on a rejuvenated George at +600 odds. He scored at least 30 points against the Lakers twice in his three games against them last season, and he’s going to motivated to atone for his poor postseason performance. Now that he is out of the NBA bubble, we’ll see the George of old and not the distracted version we saw in the summer.

Another reason I like that bet is it’s unclear what to expect from the Lakers early in the season. How much will Anthony Davis and LeBron James actually play in a game that is fairly meaningless for the ultimate goal of winning another championship? It’s very possible the Lakers ease themselves into the season with the goal of peaking at the right time and rolling to yet another title. That opens the door for George to outscore the Lakers dynamic duo by being the floor more.

The Lakers definitely went out and used free agency to help improve the team by adding a strong power forward like Harrell to complement Davis in the post. They also traded for Dennis Schroder to bring some stability to the backcourt alongside James, which also adds a needed scoring boost for Los Angeles. Schroder averaged 18.9 points and four assists per game last year in Oklahoma City, but he proved to be a great facilitator in Atlanta his final two seasons with the Hawks.

I think the fact they are the defending champions is a main reason the New Jersey online sports betting sites have listed the Lakers as 2.5-point favorites in this season-opening matchup. Though the Lakers have won both preseason matchups between the teams in an abbreviated training camp, the Clippers won two of three against the Lakers in Staples Center last year, including the season opener. This is setting up another situation where one team finds this game far more important than the other, and the team with more motivation – in this case the Clippers – usually wins. I’ll bet the underdogClippers to win straight up at +124 odds and add on a bet that they win by 10 or fewer for +210 odds.

My Prediction

Clippers SU +124

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Josh Walfish is an award-winning journalist who has been covering college and professional sports in the United States. He holds a journalism degree from Northwestern University and his work has appeared in the Miami Herald, Chicago Sun-Times and Providence Journal. He most recently chronicled the UMass hockey teams rise to prominence over the last two years for the local newspaper

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